HOT SPRINGS -- Veterans of the Vietnam War will be honored on March 29 as the Garland County Veterans Memorial Committee hosts a Commemoration Day ceremony at the Garland County Veterans Memorial and Military Park.
The event, set for 11 a.m., is part of a 13-year commemoration that was authorized by Congress in 2008 and first held nationally in 2012. This is the second year the event has been held in Garland County, which has the largest percentage of veterans in the state, Jo West Davis, chair of the Veterans Memorial Committee, said Tuesday.
"Wednesday, March 29, we will be honoring the veterans of the Vietnam War, their families and the allies that helped us during the Vietnam War," she said. "And it's building up to the 50th year," which occurs in 2025.
"So the president, two of them, [issued proclamations] that would keep this as a recognition of the Vietnam veterans until 2025, and then they will be honored on Veterans Day with all other veterans. And our memorial honors veterans every day by being in the great city and national park of Hot Springs, Ark."
The Vietnam War lasted 20 years, and "9 million Americans earned the title of United States veteran" during that time, the proclamation signed last year by President Joe Biden said.
The ceremony will consist of music by bagpiper Michael White, former Marine bugler Ross Rumore, and Jackie Davis, who will sing the national anthem.
"Richard Green, who is on our committee and also the Veteran Service Officer for the county, he will be delivering the speech because he is one of that military era, so he'll have a personal story to tell," Jo West Davis said.
There will also be pins given to those at the ceremony, Davis said.
In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to the Hot Springs Farmers and Artisans Market pavilion across the street.